Dr. Joseph Maroon joins Jason Hartman to talk about increasing healthspan and lifespan.

 

Key Takeaways
02:03 – There are four factors in epigenetics.
05:30 – It’s best not to do too much exercise or too little.
06:57 – There are simple blood work tests in order find inflammation levels.
07:57 – Diet, exercise and stress control are very important in reducing inflammation.
10:28 – Walking for thirty to forty-five minutes a day will do wonders for your brain and body cause they need the exercise.
14:58 – For more go to josephmaroon.com.
15:44 – People who are calm and positive attitude when going into surgery.

Mentioned in this episode
The Blue Zone

Tweetables
“We either die of inflammation or oxidation.”
“We need stress in our bodies, we need stress in our muscles, our joints, our brains to stay healthy.”

 

Transcript

Intro:
Welcome to The Longevity Show. Informing listeners on important aspects on health, wealth and happiness to insure you live life to its fullest with fascinating interviews with top authors and gurus of the field. Along with the latest news in the science and technology of longevity. We’re going to reveal expert advice and amazing secrets of living a longer, happier life. And now here’s your host Jason Hartman.

Jason Hartman:
It’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Joseph Maroon to the show. He is a well known neurosurgeon, professor and athlete. Dr. Maroon is world-renowned as neurosurgeon with extensive experience in that field. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery to speed recovery for his patients. And he is a sports medicine expert, who recently climb Kilimanjaro, last October he did an Ironman. He’s got quite an impressive resume. So we’re here to talk to him today about increasing our healthspan and lifespan. Joseph welcome, how are you?

Joseph Maroon:
I’m terrific, Jason, it’s a great pleasure being on your show.

Jason:
I should tell the audience that you just step out of surgery and that amazes me, that you could just transition like that. [Laughs]

Joseph:
Well is it something that I do a lot of surgery and mostly cervical and lumbar spine and also cranial, brain tumor type things, pituiary tumors. But I just love what I do, I’m very bless to be able to still do it, and continue to do it, takes some diligence and the kind of things we’re going to talk about. That I’m happy to share with the audience.

Jason:
Before we started taping you mention the field of Epigenetics. Why don’t you just definite that for the audience, if you would and then let’s drill down on it.

Joseph:
Absolutely. Well, everybody knows broadly about what genetics is, in every cell of our body we have chromosomes, our genes are located on the chromosomes, but what’s not appreciating is, the genes really do very little until they’re acting upon and literally told what to do. So, that we know genes make protein over a hundred-thousand proteins, but some of these proteins are good for us and some of the proteins aren’t good for us. Epigenetics is that field of science, meaning about the geno and it thinks that we literally have control over that effects what kind of proteins, our genes make. For instance, if we eat the kind of western diet that most people indigence in this country, that’s resulted in sixty to seventy percent degree of obesity then the food activates various things called transcription factors that tell the genes to make inflammatory agents in our body, inflammatory cytokines they are called leukotrienes things of that nature that result in inflammation, if we eat a good Mediterranean diet, vegetables, fruits, fiber the kind of things we are supposed to, our body makes anti-inflammatory cytokines agents that reduces inflammation. And Jason you know so well and your audience does, I’m sure. Inflammation is the underline pathogenetics of cause of most of the bad diseases of aging, cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthrodesis, etc.

Jason:
It’s been said that we either die of inflammation or oxidation, right?

Joseph:
That’s right.

Jason:
Those are really the two causes of death, beside out right accident or physical trauma.

Joseph:
So, what we need to be focus on are ways to prevent inflammation and also to prevent oxidation, exactly right, and that’s where epigenetics comes in. So, there’s basically four epigenetics factors that have profound influences on inflammation and oxidation. Number one: our diet, nutrition, number two: exercise whether we do or not, number three: our environmental factors, the air, the water, the amount of radiation we get, and also how we control stress. These four factors literally affect our genes very directly, and most importantly we have a choice on what we eat, whether we exercise, too some extent, our environmental factors and how we can control stress.

Jason:
The funny thing to me, doctor, I’m a big fan of fitness, I do yoga and workout all the time, and I was skiing all weekend just returned last night. I love exercise but the thing that’s kind of funny to me, doesn’t that cause more oxidation? doesn’t cause us to rust if we breath more? [Laughs]

Joseph:
Well not quite, Aristotle said, “In all things hit the mean between extremes” So, if you take exercise to extreme limits, yes., you break down your muscle, you have increase radicals and you get–

Jason:
And this spoken by a person who did a Ironman last year. [Laughs]

Joseph:
Yeah but I done eight of them, and I’ve finally learn I think how to train. So I don’t get into, what I call a red zone. If you look at your odometer on your car, your RPMs, you need to get up to decent miles per hour but you want to stay out of the red zone, where you overheating your engine. It’s that simple with exercise. And your question is a very good one, because you don’t want too little exercise and then you don’t want to go crazy either without getting rest, the right nutrition, and all the things that goes with high activity.

Jason:
Here’s a question that I’ve always been puzzled by. How can we tell if we have inflammation problem, is it blood test? Do we get this information from blood work?

Joseph:
Yeah, you literally can measure various things in the blood that can give you a very indentation of that, one’s your C-reactive protein which is a non specific about inflammation that it clearly if you have too much inflammation in your body can off your sedimentation rate of your red blood cell, your homocysteine level, your fibrinogen level, all of these are factors that give an indication of the amount of inflammation in your body, and there are others, but those are the simplelest

Jason:
Is there anything that can measure oxidation issue?

Joseph:
There are some blood tests that can measure that, they’re not routinely done however.

Jason:
Okay, for inflammation, good diet exercise those are the basics, but about the advanced version?

Joseph:
The advanced version?

Jason:
Well, what I’m saying is, is there anything we can do beyond that? beyond the basics there.

Joseph:
You said diet and exercise but stress control is absolutely just as important. You may be familiar with the book The Blue Zone the author look at the areas of the world where they were the most centenarians those people who live over a hundred and there were several places: Okinawa the island in Japan, Sardinia in the Tyrrhenian Sea, The Seventh Day Adventists in none other then California, and the people in Nicoya, Costa Rica. All of these people live longer than most others more centenarians over a hundred, why? Several things the number one: the diet is consistent, high fruits, vegetables, lean protein, some wine except for the stuff they add in, they don’t smoke and they don’t drink very much, in moderation drinking. And they all work very hard labor which is equivalent to exercise and the great majority are very spiritual, religious, meditate and have very strong families lives, strong values, and what’s the significance of that? Well, it reduces stress and it’s a feeling of belonging, it’s gives meaning to people’s lives, and there’s stress reduction. Stress is an insidious fire that goes on in a body when it’s chronic it literally burns up the brain, you literally lose brain cells with chronic stress, memory becomes impaired, cardiovascular system breaks down. So, I would add stress write it up there with diet and exercise, stress control.

Jason:
Very good point. All of this is also really a talk about healthspan as much as it is lifespan. Did you wanna talk about the exercise side of it? How to do it better? You’re absolutely very good at this, you’re an expert at it, anything there you want to mention?

Joseph:
Yeah, I don’t advocate that people go out and start doing triathlons but what I do advocate strongly is that there’s no excuse for not walking thirty to forty-five minutes a day at the clock, if people would walk to thirty to forty-five minutes a day, it would reduce the incidents of dietetics by forty percent in this country. Dietetic is the most common cause of blindness, kidney failure, and amputation. And simply by walking that’s a huge positive effect. And then the other thing is, exercise needs to be incremental, what I mean by that is, you slowly increase the intensity, Nietzsche said that which does not kill me makes me stronger. We need stress in our bodies, we need stress in our muscles, our joints, our brains to stay healthy. Stress is good unless excessive, so it’s incremental stress, it’s incremental exercise. And the other thing about exercise is, and most people don’t realize this, that it increase a molecular in the brain called BDNF brain-derived neurotrophic factor and what this Brain-derived neurotrophic factor do? There are several things, number one it actually causes your brain to make new brain cell, which haven’t been appreciated until the last ten years or so. We thought we were getting a hundred-billion neurons and over time they die, and we shiver up and die. But exercise result in the production of new brain cell, particularly in the areas of the brain that serves memory. That’s number one, number two: the increasing of brain plasticity the ability to process information from different sources in a very effective way. And number three: it increases the synapses of the brain and Einstein brain was better than others in the fact that there is a very dense aberration of synaptic connections with the neurons in his brain. And exercise does all of those things for brain health. Now that’s not to talk about cardiovascular health, bone health, muscle health, etc.

Jason:
What factor does the type of exercise play? Interms of, for example, going to the gym, or doing yoga, for example, that’s sort of a get your exercise done for the day type of concept vs playing sports, when I was skiing last weekend, I’m thinking, there’s a lot of situational awareness that’s going on, you got react quickly that’s a lot different experience than going to the gym, of course. When you play sports that involve coordination is that a lot better than just purely working out?

Joseph:
Yeah, I think there’s more enhancement to your balance, one of the things that happens when you get older, is you develop a acetabular problems, balance problems, and clearly my practicing or doing those activities that enhance your appropriate perception, your sense of awareness and your body working better, yes, there all very good. Basically three things, number one: you need some degree of aerobic activity, however you get that, where you get your heart rate up. Number two: you need strength training and that can be yoga, which is superb, it can be lightweight, it can be dance. Number three: you need flexibility, and the flexibility and balance comes from again yoga, stretching, things like that. Those are the three key points that need to be touch.

Jason:
Good advice there, yeah. Give out your website if you would and tel people where they can out more your work.

Joseph:
My website is josephmaroon.com and it depends on, I do a lot in sports medicine as well as surgery, and Google my name Joseph Maroon, MD and put in whatever subject of sports medicine or neurosurgery, microsurgery and you can get a lot of information.

Jason:
Fantastic and what city are you located?

Joseph:
I’m at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Jason:
Well, good stuff. Did you want to talk anything about the injury recovering aspect of things? Before you go. That’s what you’re doing all day long.

Joseph:
I think when it comes to surgery, I think there’s several things that are very important, and again a patient who is fit, who has a decent diet, and also who has control of their own anxiety. What I find is people who into surgery extremely tense, apprehensive, and anxious, don’t do as well. And we know from various studies that infections are higher in people who have an extremely anxiety level, because anxiety suppress our immune system and kill cells that help alleviate infection. It’s important to have knowledge about what’s going to happen in surgery, a confident in your surgeon. And having all your questions answers to your satisfaction. So that you have a degree of calm going into any operative procedures as much as possible.

Jason:
That’s great to see a western doctor acknowledge the psychosomatic side of that equation. I think that’s fantastic that you mention that. Very good advice having a positive attitude about it, managing anxiety. Great advice. Dr. Joseph Maroon, thank you so much for joining us today, very interesting and what’s your next athletic challenge. Are you going to do two Ironmans in a row? [Laughs]

Joseph:
Well not two in row but I would love to do another one. I’m going to relax for the next few months. Kilimanjaro was a challenge. I did this with six disability athletes. Three of them had only one leg, one had no legs and no arm, and one had no arms, and if you go to that website live free it’s a phenomenal group of athletes and how they overcome adversity.

Jason:
Yeah and that’s through the Live Free Foundation that you’re involve with, right?

Joseph:
Yeah.

Jason:
Good stuff. That’s just amazing. Thank you so much for joining us today. And there’s some great videos of that on your website at josephmaroon.com as well. Keep up the good work and thank you for joining us.

Joseph:
Thank you Jason.

Outro:
This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, all rights reserved. For distribution or publication rights and media interviews, please visit www.hartmanmedia.com or email [email protected] Nothing on this show should be considered specific personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own and the host is acting on behalf of Platinum Properties Investor Network Inc. exclusively.

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